Letters to Holly

Friday, September 3

Oh, Hi There

I ran into a sometime actor with the local theatre. She was in that courtroom play from Fall 2007. "Sometime" sounds dismissive, and I don't mean that. She took time off to be married and see her son off to college. She joined the show cuurently in rehearsals, the show I was twice asked to join and twice I declined so I could "help" raise the sidekick. She and I got along great after an initial adjustment period in the early courtroom rehearsals, and we caught up yesterday as she was getting coffee before rehearsal.

I had hopped into the store to buy cookies and ice cream (no, we're not pregnant again), and she was leaving, but we stopped to chat for a while. She's nervous about the show because of her commute and new family and the rehearsal schedule. She doesn't have her lines yet. Most of this show worked together before on a show prior to our courtroom show, and I assured her it's too good a gang to leave her hanging.

She'll be fine. She was also nervous about her work in our play. She was the widow of the rich man found flattened at the foot of a skyscraper, and she had her lines well before we had an audience, if I recall right. Anyway, she frets, but I contend that fretting can be productive if it drives you to work harder. Same thing with the seven deadly sins. As motivators, they can't be beat.

She asked about our new parenthood. I babbled for a while. And off she ran to rehearse, and off I strolled to the freezer aisle.

The deck is down to the joists. The kids are scheduled to clean the concrete foundation before the weekend, leaving only the assembly of the new lumber. The teacher objected to the original construction stairs, and he'll show the kids the right way to attach them to the deck.

We received the deputy's social security card. He's officially official.

Get over here and veg out on the couch.

Picture of the Day
Outta here.

Thursday, September 2

Sudden Destruction

I arrived home to find the deck half disassembled. The carpentry teacher realized that his class needn't wait until the composite lumber arrived to remove the old stuff. The iron railing art was stacked, the wood rails are gone, and a third of the flooring is removed. The joists will remain, I'm told, as they are deemed healthy. They look discolored to me, but apparently, they are fine. I expect to go home today and find everything but the support skeleton removed. The new stuff arrives Tuesday, and the whole thing should be finished by next weekend. There will be no work done while you are visiting us, I'm positive.

Something I realized only recently is that the composite lumber should rebuff all the carpenter bees that burrowed into our old railings. I'll no longer have to fight them off with WD-40. Our new deck, happily, won't be a potential firebomb.

The attention for the cooking sub-blog has died down, but that short-lived basking was fun. The stats are impressive. Google added blog stats in June, so the blog records are few, but there was an obvious propulsion in numbers based on the Doom links.

Check this out. These are the top ten countries represented by blog visitors :

Those figures wallop the June and July numbers combined. Also? Asia is in the house.

Picture of the Day
Our child's feet. Not to scale.

Tuesday, August 31

Internet Famous

I intended to post last night's coq au vin recipe. I was to use it for Cooking With Villainy and employ the Doom voice. The whole schmear. But I ruined the dish, and I can't pass along to anyone the right way to cook it.

The autopsy of the meal suggests that I should have used a heavy iron skillet instead of a large sauce pan. The meat and veggies are to simmer in a thick glaze of wine, broth, mushrooms, carrots, and spices. My sauce was soup. I also overcooked the noodles and undercooked the bacon. The recipe is sound. My execution was lacking. I'll try again next month, and Doom will do it up right.

And here's irony: I ruined the dish for the latest entry right after I become internet famous. Cooking With Villainy was linked here, and the blog's stats went haywire.

UPDATE: The links have spread here. And here. And FINLAND.

Picture of the Day
Young Sigourney from Alien and the cat that failed to save anyone on the doomed salvage ship.

Monday, August 30

Saturday Night Fevers

As if we didn't already appreciate vaccines, the sidekick's constantly goopy eye cleared up completely. We cheer and breathe sighs of relief and sell our stocks in cotton-ball companies even as we agree that this could be a symptom of an energized immune system. The goop could return.

We thought he had a fever Saturday morning, and we responded with a Keystone Kops series of incompetent actions.

Here's some petroleum jelly for the rectal thermometer. The directions say we can't use that.
What do we use? Is there any Crisco?*
The reading says 98.9. What's the temperature supposed to be for babies? I don't know.
And how many books on babies have we read in the last year?

Meanwhile he's screaming loud enough that My Dad could hear him. We got him settled down and agreed he had no fever. I tried to put lotion on him to cool him down, and that annoyed him. Now he was screaming and slippery. He's become so averse to sleeping lately that we resort to wrestling him into oblivion with sleeper holds. Yes, we admit it: We use submission maneuvers on our baby. I have claimed his cruiserweight championship belt.

We took him to a teacher party Saturday night and took turns wearing him like Flavor Flav's clock. Your Dispensing Sister took a time-out to nurse him while I guarded the door against insistent preschoolers. In efforts to reclaim her normalcy, she followed up on wine recommendations from a magazine and bought two bottles of new flavors yesterday. We cracked one bottle open and enjoyed half of it, saving the rest for tonight. I don't think I've had muscadine wine before, and this was nice. Not too sweet, but very fruity. It goes great with spicy food.

I'm trying more elaborate recipes lately, and I'll add this week's efforts to the Cooking With Villainy entries. Your Sister made a great curry dish Friday with material you gave us from South Africa. That stuff doesn't diffuse.

She walked with a teacher buddy yesterday while I watched the deputy sleep finally, at last and unaware that he was no longer a champion. He stayed awake during the Sunday outing for lunch and groceries, and much cooing followed him everywhere.

We got an estimate for the new decking, and we agreed to it despite the hefty cost. If nothing else, we are increasing the house's value each year with out little projects. We see news reports on housing values and are amazed at the people who thought the aberrant high prices from the early half of the decade were the norm. One ABC News report showed a three-bedroom ranch in the Northeast going for less than $130,000, and the owner couldn't sell it. He based that price on the highest price from the housing bubble, not what he paid for it nor its current value. And he was shocked and dismayed he couldn't get a buyer. Your Savvy Sister and I just stared at each other, wondering if we were hearing right.

I made arrangements with My Mom to watch the former champion during my reunion next month. Your Parents might watch him during Your Sister's.

Her Cat was so inspired by the documentary on lions last night that he played fetch with a catnip mouse. I'm not sure it's safe for us to let him watch those on the big TV anymore. He might regress.

*No, not really.

Picture of the Day
Let us send our best and brightest and mane-iest to Mars.